Name: Mona Hatoum
Where are you from? Im from Calgary, Canada
How long have you been in Qatar? Since November, 2018.
Why did you move to Qatar? I moved to Qatar for a a great new job opportunity and for the chance explore a new side of the world.
What are you passionate about? I'm passionate about learning. Whether its learning about new cultures or meeting new people or trying new foods or hobbies. I’m obsessed with novelty and wish I could uncover everything this world has to offer! Alongside all that, I’m also passionate about living a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and being active!
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? My biggest life lesson would be how important it is in life to have a strong support system of family and friends. Life is sometimes difficult and we were never meant to do it alone and having people around to support and help and ground you is essential to your wellbeing.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? I think this project is an amazing display of the diversity of mankind in showing that we all come from somewhere different, may look different, speak a different language but our core needs and values are all pretty similar and I wanted to be a part of that.
Name: My name is Valeryia Hrakava.
Where are you from? I come from Gomel, Belarus.
How long have you been in Qatar? I’ve been in Qatar since June, 2017.
Why did you move to Qatar? I never ever in my life planned to move to Qatar. But at a certain point in my life, I felt quite depressed that moving to another country seemed to be the only way out. So I explored my options and found a job in a completely different field here. To be honest, I never regretted this decision.
What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about making every day of my life somewhat special by doing something new; be it making a new friend, learning a new dance or reading a book - I’m happy to explore all the options.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? The biggest life lesson for me here was to understand that if you treat people with an open heart, that will come back to you. Doha showed me that if you live in a multicultural environment, you become a better person just by unconsciously following what everyone does - you smile at everyone as a Filipina, be hardworking as an Indian, cheerful as a Brazilian and so on. I think we all become a better version of ourselves here.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? Just curiosity. Interesting to see how diverse our 'Qatar crowd' is and yet we manage to live together.
Name: Leonie Ezzaza.
Where are you from? I was born in Auckland, New Zealand. My mother is of Fijian heritage and my father is a New Zealander. We have Fijian blood from both my maternal and paternal grandparents.
How long have you been in Qatar? My husband, son and I have been in Qatar since October, 2018 and are still in the process of establishing ourselves here.
Why did you move to Qatar? We moved to Qatar for several reasons. We wanted to be closer to my husband’s family in Morocco and to enjoy some holidays abroad as New Zealand is so far away from the rest of the world. Both my husband and I have worked as expats and wanted our son to experience living in another country.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about always striving to make a difference and providing comfort to my patients. I work as a paediatric nurse and have been privileged to be involved in working in a brand new hospital. My other passions are travelling and learning about other cultures.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? I suppose one that I already knew; that money does not buy you happiness or your health. It can certainly make your life less stressful, but not necessarily fulfilled. Sounds cliched but after spending time in Fiji where some of the locals have very little materialistically, they are so happy living really basic lives.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? I was interested to be part of this project so that others can see that, here in Qatar, we are all working together to help out our fellow brothers and sisters and even though we all look different and are from different places, we all strive for the same things.
Name: My name is Altynai, which, if translated from my language, means golden moon.
Where are you from? I am from mountainous Kyrgyzstan and more specifically, the cozy city of Bishkek.
How long have you been in Qatar? Since 14th May 2014. I was initially planning on staying just two years, but I’m still here and I'm glad because now Doha feels like my second home. Its diversity is its strength.
Why did you move to Qatar? I moved here because of work, but now Doha for me is much more than just a workplace - it's a place where I've grown in so many ways, for which I'm very grateful.
What are you passionate about? I'm passionate about nature and trying to cut down single-use plastic as much as possible. I believe each individual step matters. Another big passion of mine is art and design. Lately, I’ve been trying to give more time to creativity in my routine. It makes life more playful and adventurous.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? There are many things I’ve realised during my time in Doha; it's hard to identify which one realisation is the biggest. Maybe that happiness doesn't require anything spectacular. It's quietly present in everyday simple life. Yes you will pursue your dreams and goals and it’s all cool, but that's another thing.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? One of my favourite documentaries is " Born in the USSR". It captures the lives of 7-year-old kids, from different parts of the country. Every seven years, we get to see how they grew and matured and how the collapse of the country affected their lives. It's fascinating to see the lives of real people unfold and I felt that this project has a similar interesting idea.
Name: Ayna Dell Thompson.
Where are you from: I’m from “Roatán, which is an island in the Caribbean, about 65 kilometres off the northern coast of Honduras. I’m a proud Caracola.
How long have you been in Qatar? I Arrived Beginning Of March 2008.
Why did you move to Qatar? My Husband got a Job here. I followed and started working as well. I never had initially had plans to move out. I do enjoy how Safe the country is.
What are you passionate about? My family, cooking, music and my job.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? That it was God’s plan for me to be here. It took me many years to understand His perfect plan for me.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? To show others that we all have a story - a reason to be here. We are all away from the ones we love and helping and supporting each other is the way to happiness.
Name: Martina Hohnjec.
Where are you from? Zagreb, Croatia.
How long have you been in Qatar? Since March 2017.
Why did you move to Qatar? I was in Qatar travelling and a good job opportunity presented itself, which had great potential creative growth. I wasn’t actually planning to move here as I was living on the beautiful island of Cyprus, but at the end of the day I thought, what is the worst thing that can happen? If I don’t like it, I will simply leave. Well, I am still here.
What are you passionate about? I am a wedding photographer, passionate about portraying couples’ love. My passion is people and how their emotions can change the world around them, which is what I am trying to capture through my work.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? Patience is something I truly developed since I arrived here. Qatar is a country with many cultures, bursting with people from completely contrasting environments. Learning how to adapt and live with such differences, but also do my work and stay creative is something that I managed to develop in a big way.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? Artists like Mohammed, who portrays the beauty of diversity, deserve huge support.
Such projects can change human perspectives of important issues and make us understand people better, and be tolerant of their backgrounds, culture and customs. In today’s world, we can all focus on self-improvement with the ultimate goal of living together in harmony.
Name: Sandra Penkauskaite.
Where are you from? Lithuania (Baltic State) and I was born and raised in the city of Panevezys.
How long have you been in Qatar? I arrived in March 2004 - 15 years and counting!
Why did you move to Qatar? I was living and studying abroad when I came across a job opportunity that was based in Doha, Qatar. At the time it wasn’t a well known country, but after doing some research and friends' feedback, who visited the GCC, I decided to move to Qatar. After a few years, I invited my sister to join me in Qatar, so it is now home to me and my family.
What are you passionate about? I have always been interested in learning about new cultures. Living here for so many years has exposed me to not only people from different backgrounds but also different races and religions. We are very lucky to be surrounded by people from all over the world. In addition, I have always loved travelling. Qatar, which is perfectly located between East and West, gave more opportunities to explore and visit many countries.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? Don’t doubt and take opportunities. For people who have ideas and goals, there are no limits. Qatar is a very welcoming country, whether you are looking to stay here short term or make it your forever home.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? I wanted to be part of the project as it was an interesting idea to showcase how diverse Qatar is.
Whether you have been living here for many years, or you’ve just arrived, Qatar is home to everyone and this project captures every angle.
Name: Rana Isayeva.
Where are you from? I am from Baku, Azerbaijan.
It is a country which is located at the Caucuses and lies west of the Caspian sea, with Iran to the South, Russia to the North, and Turkey and Georgia to the West.
How long have you been in Qatar? I moved to Qatar with my husband and children in May of 2008.
Why did you move to Qatar? My husband, who at the time worked for BP, had received a job offer from Qatar Gas, so we decided to take it and moved to Qatar.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about sport, because it is a good way to be healthy and fit, and is also good for mental health. I also enjoy spending time and travelling with my family and friends.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? My biggest life lesson is that when you live miles away from home you start to realise the worth of spending time with family and friends.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? I wanted to take part in this project because I saw all the different nationalities and different cultures which made me want to be a part of this project and represent Azerbaijan.